« PreviousContinue »
891.00/12-644 : Telegram
The Ambassador in Iran (Morris) to the Secretary of State
TEHRAN, December 6, 1944–6 p. m.
[Received December 8–5:30 p. m.] 909. On December 4 Ambassador Harriman 3 and I were received in an audience for a matter of 2 hours by His Majesty Mohammad Reza. Court Minister Hussein Ala * was present. The atmosphere was very friendly and it was obvious that the Shah was extremely pleased to have Ambassador Harriman visit him. I feel certain he interpreted this visit as a gesture of friendliness on the part of President Roosevelt and appreciates it as such. Ambassador Harriman conveyed the President's greetings to the Shah and spoke tactfully and forcefully about aspects of Iranian and American relationship. I have no doubt that Mr. Harriman will wish to report himself on this conversation.
The Shah spoke in a sensible and sincere manner in regard to the problems and needs of his country. In my opinion, which I think Mr. Harriman shares, he showed a very certain grasp of the economic necessities of his country and he also appears to have a very clear picture and a determined attitude in respect of Iran's political relationships. He pointed out that the country could not be truly democratic, which he desired, until the people had acquired sufficient education to understand the principles of democratic government and be able to form intelligent individual opinion. To arrive at this the Shah desired very strongly to establish free education without the exclusion of private education for those able to afford it. To accomplish this required money which would have to be raised by greater taxation of the easy classes and the acquisition of funds from the increased exploitation of the agricultural and mineral resources of the country which were potentially great. To do this he recognized the necessity of outside help and particularly desired the wholehearted support of the United States in such a program.
Both Mr. Harriman and I explained firm desire of the President and United States Government to assist along these lines and Mr. Harriman made a concise and effective exposition of the difficulties due to the war effort in initiating help on a large scale at the present moment. The Shah expressed his understanding of the situation. . .
3 Ambassador Harriman was returning to his post in the Soviet Union from the United States.
* Iranian Minister of the Imperial Court.
The Shah brought forward once again the question of a treaty covering the presence of American troops. I took occasion to state with considerable positiveness that the United States desired nothing better than a quick conclusion of an appropriate agreement. I reminded Mr. Ala that I had expressed this view on several occasions to members of the Government and only a few days previously to the new Prime Minister. I then suggested to the Shah that he could do a service in getting his Government to approach us on this matter.
As an interesting sidelight, the Shah said that in conversation with Kavtaradze some time ago the matter of the American troops being here without a formal treaty in contrast to the British and Russians had been touched upon. Kavtaradze had expressed the opinion that the American army here were not troops in the military sense but on the contrary were railway working specialists. The Shah said that while this viewpoint might be held it was nonetheless true that these men are under military discipline and are armed and that they could not be regarded otherwise than as troops. It was the Shah's disclosure of Kavtaradze's remark to him cited above which Court Minister Ala later asked me to be particularly discreet about.
I have cited briefly the salient points of the conversation and I think that Ambassador Harriman will also wish to report upon this interview.
Sent to Department, repeated to Moscow as 107, London, Cairo as 356, and Baghdad.
761.91/12–1144 : Telegram The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary
Moscow, December 11, 1944–6 p. m.
[Received 6:11 p. m.] 4771. Ambassador Morris has comprehensively reported in his telegram to the Department of December 6 repeated to Moscow as No. 105 [107?] 6 on his audience with the Shah. In conveying the President's greetings to the Shah I spoke of the President's personal interest in Iran enhanced by the information and understanding he had obtained at first hand during his visit a year ago. The Shah spoke frankly and directly regarding his concern over the recent attitude and actions of the Soviet Government in connection with the oil concession. I pointed out that the declaration on Iran was of course the accepted policy of our Government and that I was authorized to call to the attention of the Soviet Government my Government's views on any action which it was felt might be inconsistent with the declaration. On the other hand I emphasized that it was the Iranian Government's responsibility to work out its relationship directly with the Soviet Government. The Shah stated he believed the Soviets would continue to attempt to stimulate agitation in the north against him and his Government and that the best way to counteract this influence was for his Government to develop a forward social and economic policy. In this policy he hoped for American assistance not only in furnishing advisers to his Government but in a practical way as well. I was impressed by his intelligent grasp of the problems of Iran but could not help wonder whether Iranian political leaders have the ability and integrity to carry through such a policy.
5 For correspondence concerning this proposed agreement, see pp. 355 ff.
In the talk Ambassador Morris and I had with Maximov, reported in Tehran's telegram to the Department No. 907, December 6, the latter made it very plain that he had no intention of letting matters drop but intended to take aggressive measures to attain the Soviet objectives which appear to be much more far-reaching than simply the oil and mineral concession and to include the upsetting of the Government which he characterized as representing only 5% of the Iranian population. Maximov expounded the extraordinary thesis that, since the Iranian Government did not truly represent the Iranian people and since the Soviets knew what the Iranian people wanted, it was proper for the Soviet Government to see that this opinion found political expression. Although there appears to be no action called for by us at this time, I feel that the Shah's fears have basis and that the situation should be watched carefully.
Sent to Department as 4771 and repeated to London as 302, Tehran as 108, Cairo as 23 and to Baghdad.
PROBLEMS REGARDING PROPOSED AGREEMENT COVERING THE
PRESENCE OF UNITED STATES TROOPS IN IRAN; 8 QUESTION OF DISPOSAL OF UNITED STATES MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AND
EQUIPMENT IN IRAN 740.0011 European War 1939/30843 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Iran (Ford)
WASHINGTON, February 1, 1941–6 p. m. 52. With reference to your despatch 759, December 15,9 Iranian Minister here 10 has not approached Department concerning resump
? Post, p. 480.
tion of negotiations for agreement covering presence of American forces in Iran. You may bring this fact to the attention of Iranian officials should inquiry be made.
The Department believes that the Prime Minister 11 will agree on reflection that in his note of August 21 to the Legation quoted in Legation's telegram 874, August 23,12 he did not intend to place the United States in an unfavorable light in a manner entirely unjustified by the
a facts. Please take this matter up informally and confidentially with the Prime Minister, making the discreet suggestion that in order to put the record straight he may desire to withdraw his note of August 21.
811.24591/30 : Telegram
The Chargé in Iran (Ford) to the Secretary of State
TEHRAN, February 8, 1944–11 a. m.
[Received February 9—3:50 a. m.] 73. Department's 52, February 1. I have talked at length with Prime Minister regarding status of agreement covering presence of American troops in Iran pointing out that tenor his note of August 21 plus subsequent failure his Government to accept agreement as finally approved by State and War Departments, which believed they were acting in harmony with Iranian Government, had placed my Government in unfavorable light which it desired to have rectified. Prime Minister readily admitted justice of our position but stated that whereas necessity which dictated his note of August 21 may no longer govern, he must nevertheless cling to stand which he then assumed and entreat that an agreement covering presence American troops in Iran be finally concluded. He added with some vehemence that he was today instructing his Minister in Washington to take up at once with Department the preparation of one of the proposed drafts enclosed with my despatch No. 759, December 15 13 with view to having it signed immediately Minister Dreyfus 14 returns.
Without wishing in the least to appear to be questioning wisdom of asking Soheily to retract note in question I think it desirable to point out that the fundamental premise of this note was that American troops came to Iran illegally and without having obtained permission from sovereign this country.
That original and basic premise has not changed; while Iran's declaration of war in meantime may be considered to have removed
11 Ali Soheily.
illegality their presence here and thus to have affected both the intent and urgency of Prime Minister's note, I find it exceedingly difficult to ask him to cancel statements made in heat of political necessity 6 months ago, and before this is done I earnestly request that, rather than muddy the waters with further controversial discussions, renewed efforts be made to iron out draft of agreement as finally drawn up at beginning of December and to have it ready for signature upon Minister's return here.
Furthermore, while Soheily evinces a continuing concern over progress of this agreement it is probable that until his own political position is somewhat more settled he will at best have but an academic interest in agreement. This situation which probably will tend to build up to climax with opening new Majlis 14a on February 26 is felt to be further reason why we should hesitate to ask Prime Minister to make any retraction at this time which he might feel would hurt his own political future.
I have talked with General Connolly 15 regarding point he raised relative to jurisdiction in criminal cases over American troops in Iran 16 and he is in full agreement that this matter be considered apart from the executive agreement and made subject to either joint or parallel action with British and Soviets. He still feels that his command in [is] functioning quite satisfactorily without any agreement but he admits that for the record some form of agreement is probably desirable. I feel convinced he would now offer no objection to our concluding one of the proposed drafts forwarded by despatch 759.
811.24591/35 Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Harold B. Minor of the
Division of Middle Eastern Affairs
[WASHINGTON,] March 4, 1944. Participants: The Iranian Minister
Mr. Daftary, Counselor of the Iranian Legation
Mr. Minor The Iranian Minister and Mr. Daftary called today at their request to discuss the question of resuming negotiations for an agreement on the presence of American forces in Iran.
The Iranian Parliament.
Maj. Gen. Donald H. Connolly, Commanding General, Persian Gulf Service Command.
For correspondence regarding this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 487 ff., passim.
George V. Allen, Chief of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs.